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Need a laser printer with high-res, strong black images

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January 8, 2005 9:37:50 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Hi all,

Due to problems with my current printer (a Brother HL760), maybe it is
time for a new one.

I am an electronics amateur and need to print PCB transparencies for
UV exposure. I need a laser printer with the following properties:

1. Can print onto 120gsm tracing paper and laserstar film
2. Straight paper path preferably from tray, or at least manual feed
3. Very dense black, very little visible banding
4. Good precision in x and y dimensions (see below)
5. High resolution (1200dpi)

The finest lines I print are 0.25mm wide and spaced 0.25mm apart - I
need to be able to print 40 of these in a row for IC pins and still
have the last one line up with its pin. If it's out by 0.1mm at the
end, it's useless.

I don't care about speed or much else. My budget is unfortunately
limited (as usual) as this is just a hobby. Maybe up to £250? More if
really needed, but less if at all possible. We've just moved house and
I'm skint! (For non-UK readers, that means I've no money!)

Any recommendations people?

Thanks,
Rick Fox
Manchester, UK.
Anonymous
January 9, 2005 7:26:23 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

I think you not need a good printer but correct supplies. First of all you
need an un-dilatable film or paper. Then you can "calibrate"** your printer
using either a resize function on the printing program or another method.
I haven't done this process, but according to what I have heard any new
Brother printer is a good choice.

** Calibration: You take a 1200dpi version of your printed circuit board
(may 2400dpi) and then you resize it a little to suit with your printer's
actual dimensions. Of course, before you must measure the printer's actual
printing dimensions and the resize would be different in two axis.
p.s. People printing separations (films) for offset printing process, have
the same needs for density.

--
Yianni
in@mailbox9.gr (remove number nine to reply)

--
"Rick" <ME@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
news:mt80u0hsi50td5i7ghcfib0bdu9eg1bqs1@4ax.com...
>
> Hi all,
>
> Due to problems with my current printer (a Brother HL760), maybe it is
> time for a new one.
>
> I am an electronics amateur and need to print PCB transparencies for
> UV exposure. I need a laser printer with the following properties:
>
> 1. Can print onto 120gsm tracing paper and laserstar film
> 2. Straight paper path preferably from tray, or at least manual feed
> 3. Very dense black, very little visible banding
> 4. Good precision in x and y dimensions (see below)
> 5. High resolution (1200dpi)
>
> The finest lines I print are 0.25mm wide and spaced 0.25mm apart - I
> need to be able to print 40 of these in a row for IC pins and still
> have the last one line up with its pin. If it's out by 0.1mm at the
> end, it's useless.
>
> I don't care about speed or much else. My budget is unfortunately
> limited (as usual) as this is just a hobby. Maybe up to £250? More if
> really needed, but less if at all possible. We've just moved house and
> I'm skint! (For non-UK readers, that means I've no money!)
>
> Any recommendations people?
>
> Thanks,
> Rick Fox
> Manchester, UK.
January 9, 2005 8:08:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

On Sun, 9 Jan 2005 04:26:23 +0200, "Yianni" <in@mailbox9.gr> wrote:

>I think you not need a good printer but correct supplies. First of all you
>need an un-dilatable film or paper. Then you can "calibrate"** your printer
>using either a resize function on the printing program or another method.
>I haven't done this process, but according to what I have heard any new
>Brother printer is a good choice.
>
>** Calibration: You take a 1200dpi version of your printed circuit board
>(may 2400dpi) and then you resize it a little to suit with your printer's
>actual dimensions. Of course, before you must measure the printer's actual
>printing dimensions and the resize would be different in two axis.
>p.s. People printing separations (films) for offset printing process, have
>the same needs for density.
>
>--
>Yianni
>in@mailbox9.gr (remove number nine to reply)

Thanks for the reply. I agree about the supplies, I just don't want to
buy a printer to later hear that it is known to be not that good on
dense blacks.

I know about calibration, although I never needed any adjustment with
my HL760, shame it's started printing badly. I'm more concerned about
consistent paper handling so that, once calibrated, the films print as
expected every time.

Interesting about the offset printing, I'll look into that and see
what printers are used, but I bet they're way too expensive for me!

I am wary of buying a printer that might not do the job. I have access
to several HP LJ1000's, Epson CL1000 and Brother HL820's and none of
them seem to print very well. Maybe my works (a school) just doesn't
look after them, but my two (HL760 and LJ1000) are well looked after,
have original toner, and still print too poorly for this job.

Rick.
Related resources
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 8:56:58 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

> Thanks for the reply. I agree about the supplies, I just don't want to
> buy a printer to later hear that it is known to be not that good on
> dense blacks.
>
> I know about calibration, although I never needed any adjustment with
> my HL760, shame it's started printing badly. I'm more concerned about
> consistent paper handling so that, once calibrated, the films print as
> expected every time.

I have heard that Brother's laser printers using the TN-6600, TN-6300
cartridges prints dense black. Most of the newer brother printers use these
cartridges. There are many models (cheap and expensive), I suppose all would
print same quality because of the same cartridge and similar (or same) print
engine.
Printers which prints dense black are Brother, QMS-Minolta and may OKI. If
your previous Brother was ok, I suppose a new Brother would be same quality
or better.
Also, there is a special spray for denser black. You spray the film before
printing. It's sold in retail shops.


> Interesting about the offset printing, I'll look into that and see
> what printers are used, but I bet they're way too expensive for me!

To clarify: For offset printing it needs four films one of each color (cyan,
magenta, yellow, black). So, you need four films with dense black, with
accuracy (for accurate conjunction), and crisp. Some people print their
films in specialized companies (they use very high priced b/w laser
printers, named imagesetters). Other people use a conventional laser
printers for their needs. I've mentioned it for two reasons. One, you have
the oportunity to print your pcbs in a such company. The cost is not high
(especialy if you print many pcbs in one film, because the cost is same
either if you print a 4x4in or 15x10in). The other to know that your needs
are similar to those people printing (offset) films of their own. My
knowledge about your needs comes from those people printing offset films.
Also my previous hobby was electronics.
January 16, 2005 1:03:12 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

On Mon, 10 Jan 2005 05:56:58 +0200, "Yianni" <in@mailbox9.gr> wrote:

>> Thanks for the reply. I agree about the supplies, I just don't want to
>> buy a printer to later hear that it is known to be not that good on
>> dense blacks.
>>
>> I know about calibration, although I never needed any adjustment with
>> my HL760, shame it's started printing badly. I'm more concerned about
>> consistent paper handling so that, once calibrated, the films print as
>> expected every time.
>
>I have heard that Brother's laser printers using the TN-6600, TN-6300
>cartridges prints dense black. Most of the newer brother printers use these
>cartridges. There are many models (cheap and expensive), I suppose all would
>print same quality because of the same cartridge and similar (or same) print
>engine.
>Printers which prints dense black are Brother, QMS-Minolta and may OKI. If
>your previous Brother was ok, I suppose a new Brother would be same quality
>or better.
>Also, there is a special spray for denser black. You spray the film before
>printing. It's sold in retail shops.
>
>
>> Interesting about the offset printing, I'll look into that and see
>> what printers are used, but I bet they're way too expensive for me!
>
>To clarify: For offset printing it needs four films one of each color (cyan,
>magenta, yellow, black). So, you need four films with dense black, with
>accuracy (for accurate conjunction), and crisp. Some people print their
>films in specialized companies (they use very high priced b/w laser
>printers, named imagesetters). Other people use a conventional laser
>printers for their needs. I've mentioned it for two reasons. One, you have
>the oportunity to print your pcbs in a such company. The cost is not high
>(especialy if you print many pcbs in one film, because the cost is same
>either if you print a 4x4in or 15x10in). The other to know that your needs
>are similar to those people printing (offset) films of their own. My
>knowledge about your needs comes from those people printing offset films.
>Also my previous hobby was electronics.
>

Thanks again for the reply. Sorry mine took so long - I had a few
problems last week (car crash) - I've only just got back to the PC.

I'll look into the printers you mention. I'm planning on taking some
difficult sample files into PCWorld etc. to test their printers.

I remember hearing of the spray but had forgotten about it. I'll
definitely try to get some - it might make exposure times less
critical. Off to Google now to check out some printing firms. I've got
a backlog of PCB images to print for pending projects so I might as
well get them all done at once and try out the service.

It's really frustrating at the moment. I have just had a real urge
(since the Christmas break; I'm a teacher) to build stuff; designed
lots, given Farnell far too much money, spent days laying out PCB's,
then found I can't print. D'oh! My etching method can do 0.5mm pitch,
but my printer at the moment can't do 25mm.

Best wishes,
Rick.
!